Milt Newton, Timberwolves have quiet deadline

Ricky-Rubio-slaps-hands-with-Kevin-Martin-645x356A brief summation of how the trade deadline went for the Minnesota Timberwolves:

To elaborate a bit…


  • A trade involving Kevin Martin was always a longshot, especially if the rumors about him being unwilling to agree to forego his $7.4 million player option for next season are true. A few different teams might’ve been willing to offer a second-round pick to rent his services for the rest of this season, but the likelihood Martin would opt in almost assuredly would’ve complicated things. Martin is 33, a defensive liability, and is averaging either career lows or very close to it in most offensive categories. Despite all that, the Knicks were apparently still interested in discussing a deal, but nothing came of it:

  • As for what happens next for Martin… a buyout may be in order. I wouldn’t consider this a foregone conclusion. Glen Taylor already ponied up to buy out Anthony Bennett’s deal, and it’s hard to envision him agreeing to pay another player a great deal of money to NOT play here. Jerry Zgoda quoted Milt Newton as saying it was certainly on the table, however.


  • Jon Krawczynski, who has been pretty consistent in saying a Rubio deal at the deadline was unlikely, was vindicated.

  • Marc Stein reported that the Bucks were one of the teams who dialed Milt’s number:

  • I’ll say this: the Bucks and Knicks are teams to watch this summer regarding a possible Rubio deal. The rumors around Ricky have never really died; he has a number of fans around the league, his (obvious) shortcomings aside. Whether it’d be smart to deal him is a conversation for another time (and a longer format).


  • Despite recent rumblings about Shabazz Muhammad’s availability, there was no buzz on deadline day.
  • Ditto for Tayshaun Prince.
  • Same for Adreian Payne, but then again, those rumors were pretty far-fetched in the first place. The Thunder, Spurs and Clippers “like” him? I’m not buying it.
  • Gorgui Dieng, an intriguing prospect who would be a trade candidate in the eyes of many, wasn’t really brought up at all. It seems like the Wolves current staff likes him quite a bit; if they have power through the summer, an extension seems far more likely than a trade.
  • Weird, the Wolves didn’t trade Towns or Wiggins either.
  • HOT TAKE ALERT: that was the right call.
Share this because Rubio would pass this along:

8 Responsesso far.

  1. Alex (Australia) says:

    I think trading Ricky would set the team’s development back even further. But I wonder what the Knicks and Bucks offered?

    Maybe Jerian Grant/RoLo from NYK. And Jabari/Vasqueezzee from MIL.

    • bouncebros22 says:

      From what i have heard, the trade included Khris Middelton (according to Bleacher Report). I am imagining that the wolves would have wanted a pg back, so MCW was probably in the trade and they had interest in plumlee so i have a feeling it was those three. Here is a possibility of what it might have looked like.

      • Mebert says:

        I am not a fan of trading Rubio at all, but man Khris Middleton is awesome. Still would not make the trade, especially if we had to take MCW back.

        MCW is like Rubio, if Rubio was much worse at passing and could not play defense.

  2. gjk says:

    Huh, maybe they should just keep Rubio if other teams are “fans” of his. If nothing else, I’m glad they didn’t let Milt and other potential lame ducks in the front office do anything that would hurt them later on.

    I’ve been seeing this sentiment on Twitter since the rumors started popping up, and for the life of me, I can’t understand why now or even this summer should be considered good timing to trade Rubio. Most insane is the idea that they’d trade him and then take Kris Dunn in the draft when Dunn’s not a good shooter, either. Isn’t the point to get/develop as many rotation-caliber players as possible first and then sort them out? Right now, they have four guys who a coach would be comfortable putting in Game 7 of the NBA Finals: Towns, Wiggins, KG (off the bench in limited minutes), and Rubio. The rest are unknowns, and the franchise has enough time to figure out whether they’re knowns to delay this decision on Rubio. They also have one of the few centers in the league who can make 3s, which makes floor spacing less of a liability if they surround Rubio with shooters at the other positions. If they fail in the playoffs more than once because teams dare him to beat them and he fails, by all means make the move. But that’s not where they’re at now, and it’s not likely they’ll get good enough value for him where trading him would speed up the process.

    • Frank North says:

      I think I would puke for days on end if we traded Rubio. It would not make any sense at all to trade away a player that fits this team. Towns, and Wiggins need the ball if Zach is the 2 he will need the ball. So trading away the PG who does every dang thing you need except scoring when there will be scorers on the floor would be insane.

      the front court with Dieng and Towns looks pretty good, Wiggins and LaVine at the wings and Rubio on point. This is a young team to be excited about. I would want to see that core play and augmented over the next two seasons and add the bench over that time before anyone tweaks that core. Shabazz can step in at either wing, we need a combo guard and another PF/C that’s an 8 man rotation right there and another high pick this year to fill one of them. Not freaking rocket science here guys. Nobody needs to go out and “prove their worth” by screwing this up.

      Also read in I have pretty much given up on Payne and Belly being in that top 8 and I owe someone here at AWAW an apology regarding Tyus because that is not looking too good right now either. But there is time for his body to mature. Maybe someday for him.

  3. mikeskunes says:

    Pretty solid trade deadline to me. No one was going to give up legitimate value for Martin, Pek or Payne and a sky-rocketing cap with not a lot of roster room to add free agents means their contracts won’t too negatively impact us.

    Not trading Rubio is a no-brainer. Other teams might like him, but no one likes him for the price the Wolves organization and fans value him at. Plus, now that we’re FINALLY starting to play Zach @ SG, we actually should be in the market for a PG rather than selling PGs (sorry, Tyus).

  4. pyrrol says:

    Both Mike and gjk have great points here. I guess I simply want to reiterate with my own rant. Trading Rubio is stupid. I realize that the Rubio stuff is all rumors, and likely all that happened were a couple of phone calls for him offering a pittance rather than a deal anyone would really think about. But can we just stop with the Rubio rumors? I get that a few other teams like him. That’s nice. None of them will offer value back. Trading him without an idea for what to do with the point guard position (ie trading him for not another proven point) is crazy because we don’t have another starting point guard. Zach is a shooting guard. And we are finally using him that way after over half a season. Many of the speculations on moving Rubio were from guys who reasoned that we’d move him because the All star weekend proved Zach is the real deal (whhhhat) and he and Rubio play the same position. Everything about Zach’s game says he’s a natural 2 and everything about Rubio’s game says he’s an natural 1. And lately we’ve been playing him like that.

    Then it gets into philosophy. Everyone seems to want to be Golden State. Let me tell you–it isn’t easy to assemble that kind of team. It’s not a reasonable formula. For starters they have one of the best shooters EVER and one of the best shooting guards currently in the league. Good luck matching that shooting on your start up version of GS. A more balanced set of skills across the roster is more realistic. You, in fact, don’t need a sharpshooter at point guard to be a good team in the NBA, even ‘today’s NBA’. There are many ways to skin a cat, and the think lots of them are more fun than bombing threes. With Rubio specifically, you have a guy who’s a bad shooter and not a good scorer who does everything else remarkably well at his position. And at times he is a competent scorer and his shot goes in… I’m not sure why, but folks have a hard time seeing all the important things a point does other than score. I’m old school, but I think scoring is a little ways down the list of importance–I think it is a luxury to have a scoring point guard (and at times a ball stop), but so too is it a luxury having an elite passer, and leader, and super smart player, a guy that plays hard every night, a good and instinctive defender, a guy who takes care of the ball, someone who makes his teammates better and thinks that’s his job, someone who runs the offense well, someone who can create offense out of nothing with passing and dribbling, someone has an infectious love of the game and is easy to cheer for starting as your point guard. See what I’m getting at? One bad (but admittedly important) skill versus like eight good to elite skills. Plus he’s already a vet but only 25. Having Rubio at his current contract is starting to sound like a bargain! Maybe because it is (and with the TV money will only look more like a Blue light special).

    One thing with Rubio that is important is context. He’s not some score guard you put out there who jacks up a bunch of shots, scores 18 and that’s his contribution to whether we win or not. He’s about making a team work. So it matters what team context you put him in. What is the system? Who is the coach, and what adjustments can he make in game and through the season? Who is playing along side Rubio? Are they playing in position? These questions affect Rubio more than some points because what makes him valuable is not his own offensive potency, but how he ignites a team. Put Rubio in a system that doesn’t play to his skills and he won’t look so good. Put Rubio next to folks who can’t shoot and he doesn’t looks so good. Put Rubio next to poor athletes and suddenly he doesn’t look his best. But we are surrounding Rubio with athletic skilled guys who just need to mature. We do need a bit more shooting, but having LaVine at starting SG seems to be a positive step. Basically, we have a good core around Rubio started to maximize his game—it is a matter of some additions and maturing. I also think it is important to bring a coach in who is, well for one, just flat out better than Mitchell, but also understands his player strengths more clearly and coaches a system to them and who believes in Rubio and what he does. None of this is that hard, basically keep Rubio and continue improving the team with some additions. Not rocket science.

    Lastly, Rubio is magic. You don’t see magic players that often. Remember that between DeAndre’s legs pass to Towns to seal the Clippers game? That was magic. It’s fun. It sells tickets. It scares other teams (‘I’m going to be on the bad side of a sportcenter highlight!’). It opens up the offense. It makes basketball more varied and worth tuning into. It is valid and valuable. Keep with it–not a lot of teams see something quite like it.

  5. pyrrol says:

    Does anyone else think that Rubio bobble head looks like Klay Thompson!?

Leave a Reply